Greenpeace merged foreign funds with domestic donations: Centre
The Centre on Tuesday accused environment NGO Greenpeace India of violating Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by merging its foreign contributions with domestic donations.
In an affidavit filed at the Delhi high court, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said that Greenpeace had opened several bank accounts for utilization of foreign contribution without informing it.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the HC that, “Greenpeace receives huge amount of foreign contribution running into crores of rupees, which though deposited in FCRA account, is diverted to such other utilisation accounts in which foreign contribution has been merged with domestic receipts contrary to the Act.”
The ministry also told the court that on the question of releasing funds for the NGO’s day-to-day expenses, “statutory remedy is available under the FCR Rules”, which provides that 25% of the unutilised amount in the FCRA account can be used with government approval.
Greenpeace has challenged the suspension of its FCRA licence for six months and freezing of its bank accounts by a home ministry order.
The April 9 order has crippled the NGO because the home ministry not only froze its bank accounts used to receive foreign funds but also its five domestic accounts too.
According to the affidavit, “serious violations” found against Greenpeace in the ongoing inquiry include managing five utilisation bank accounts without informing the home ministry, diverting foreign contributions with domestic donations and utilisation of foreign contributions for own administrative purpose.
“There are several other accounts which have not been revealed and we are investigating that,” the ASG said adding that inquiry against Greenpeace was going on.